6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Steve James - Burnley’s contemporary metal artist

PUBLISHED: 00:00 18 November 2016

Polishing the finished sculpture

Polishing the finished sculpture

Archant

Burnley’s Steve James makes gleaming sculptures from stainless steel and now one graces Oxford University.

Left to right: Artist Steve James, Principle Rev. Dr. Ralph Waller,  Dr Ian Finlay,  Artist Vital Peeters. Left to right: Artist Steve James, Principle Rev. Dr. Ralph Waller, Dr Ian Finlay, Artist Vital Peeters.

They say you should never turn your hobby into a job for fear that all the fun will go out of it.

But sculptor Steve James has done just that and he says: ‘I couldn’t be happier – it just doesn’t seem like work.’

The culmination of his career so far was to recently go down to Harris Manchester College, part of Oxford University, to attend the unveiling of his new permanent steel sculpture. ‘That was a very special day,’ says Steve.

He studied art and design as well as welding and fabrication at Burnley College in the 1990s and worked in the sheet metal and engineering trade in the town for 22 years.

Steve James Steve James

However, he had always been passionate about art and his spare time away from work was spent combining his engineering skills with his artistic talent.

‘Ten years ago I began to combine both the subjects I’d studied to follow my true passion, which is making sculpture,’ he says.

The internet has brought his bold, sinuous stainless steel structures to a wider audience and his work is admired at home and abroad.

‘Each piece is designed and built entirely by my own hands from start to finish,’ he says. ‘The unique designs bring together a unity of industrial strength combined with decorative intricacy.

Steve James fabricating a sculpture in the workshop Steve James fabricating a sculpture in the workshop

‘To me, metal is an exciting medium because through cutting, bending and welding, I can achieve an array of many different shapes and forms, in all sizes and finishes. I hope my sculptures are not just visually appealing, but flowing and calming. The smooth, cool, minimalist curves and lines of the steel sculptures that I create are also very tactile.’

Steve was one of the few students at his school who opted to study art and while there was a practical necessity to get a job, his love of the subject never diminished.

‘I’m very much a creative person and love nothing more than when my hands are busy,’ he says. ‘If I’m not fabricating sculptures, I find myself sketching endless drawings of images and symbols generating ideas for new sculpture designs. I gather ideas and inspiration from everything around me, from the environment and nature to everyday objects.’

His Oxford piece was commissioned for the college by Fellow, Dr Ian Finlay. It represents a flame of knowledge and incorporates glasswork by fellow artist Vital Peeters.

Surface polishing to emphasise the surface pattern Surface polishing to emphasise the surface pattern

‘It was a fantastic opportunity and a pleasure for me to create this sculpture for the college. It’s great recognition for my art,’ says the father-of-two. ‘I hope this is only the beginning – I would like to create more public art for even more people to see and appreciate in the future.’

To see more of Steve’s work go to www.steve-james-sculptures.com

More Homes & Gardens

Monday, April 30, 2018

Rufford is home to a wildlife haven and, just to prove the point, a dragonfly emerged just as our gardening writer arrived.

Read more
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Amy Hardman’s fascination with a 16th century collector helped her create a new interior design concept, writes Roger Borrell.

Read more
Monday, April 16, 2018

An outstanding family home with fabulous living spaces.

Read more
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Meet the Bolton mother and daughter sharing their passion for elegant interiors

Read more
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A couple in Euxton have managed to create a beautiful garden packed with plants and a sense of humour

Read more
Sunday, March 4, 2018

This stunning property is situated in 20 acres of private grounds.

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search